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Pleas Withdrawn in Missouri Child-in-Closet Case

GavelKANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A judge has withdrawn all pleas entered by a Missouri woman accused of locking her malnourished daughter in a closet.

In January the mother entered Alford pleas to felony child abuse and assault charges and pleaded guilty to child endangerment in the abuse of her 10-year-old daughter.

The Associated Press is not naming the woman to protect the child’s identity.

On Monday, Jackson County Circuit Judge John Torrence withdrew the woman’s pleas. He said she had contacted him and The Kansas City Star in January to say her public defender forced her to accept the plea deal.

Torrence said the case will be put back on the court docket for a jury trial.

In an Alford plea, a defendant maintains innocence but acknowledges a jury could find them guilty.

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